Millionaire Nick Hanauer Shoots Down Neil Cavuto's Straw Men as He Explains Why His
Taxes Should be Raised.
It seems millionaire Nick Hanauer's recent op-ed on why we need to be taxing the rich in America has, as Steve Benen explained, “caused a stir, and with good reason.”
Political Animal – Raise Nick Hanauer's Taxes: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/pol...axes033863.php
If Hanauer’s name doesn’t sound familiar, he’s a very successful venture capitalist, playing a role in the creation of companies like Amazon.com. This week, he took on a standard Republican talking point: the notion that job creation suffers if taxes go up on the rich. Hanauer explained very well why the GOP’s approach is backwards.
I can start a business based on a great idea, and initially hire dozens or hundreds of people. But if no one can afford to buy what I have to sell, my business will soon fail and all those jobs will evaporate.
That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is the feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion a virtuous cycle that allows companies to survive and thrive and business owners to hire. An ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than I ever have been or ever will be.
It appears that Hanauer, unlike GOP policymakers, understands supply and demand, and that three decades of concentrating wealth at the top doesn’t create an economic base that ensures broad prosperity. Republicans can keep lavishing more and more money on the rich, but they’ll only spend so much. [...]
Hanauer’s advice? Raise his taxes, make public investments, and get some money in the pockets of middle-class consumers.
Digby’s take on this rings true: “This is a person who really doesn’t want to kill the golden goose of capitalism but would like to save it. It doesn’t speak well for the future of capitalism that there are so few entrepreneurs like him.”
Be sure to go read the entire editorial here -- Raise Taxes on Rich to Reward True Job Creators: Nick Hanauer.
Hanauer was a guest on Neil Cavuto's show on Fox Business this Wednesday and he did a great job knocking down every one of Cavuto's arguments and straw men as Cavuto desperately tried to rebut Hanauer's assertions on why the rich aren't paying enough in taxes.
Here's the shortened version of their conversation with a tiny bit of paraphrasing and which does not reflect Cavuto constantly interrupting and talking over Hanauer.
CAVUTO: But you pay forty percent of the taxes.
HANAUER: That's because we have all the money.
CAVUTO: Maybe we should find a way to lift the bottom than take it out of the hide of the top.
HANAUER: The only way democratic capitalistic societies have ever been able to lift the bottom is by investing in capacity for the bottom. And the place you have to get that money is from the very tippy top because that's where it all is.
CAVUTO: We have spent trillions on the war on poverty since Lyndon Johnson and the poverty percentage rate is higher than it was when he started the war.
HANAUER: There are a million ways to go about [making people more prosperous] but the idea that the wealthy, people like me, shouldn't pay their fair share in a democratic capitalist society is ludicrous.
CAVUTO: Rich people pay a third of their income in taxes. […] What's the fair share to you?
HANAUER: Rates of growth were greatest when tax rates were at their highest […] The truth is that the truly rich aren't paying thirty percent. They're paying fifteen percent.
CAVUTO: Why don't you draw the line at guys like you who are in a blessed and unique and very small slice crowd?
HANAUER: Here's the problem, it's not a small crowd. There's a ton of people who are making this kind of dough today.
CAVUTO: If you want to pay more Nick, write a check right now.
HANAUER: We don't live in a volunteer society. We live in a society that requires all of us to pull together.
CAVUTO: What about the people who don't want to pay more?
HANAUER: Try using that attitude at the next company meeting at Fox News. I've run a lot of companies and once in a while somebody will pop up with this attitude. You know what we do with those people? We fire them, both because they're useless and they're poisonous to the culture. The simple fact is, things just don't get done on a volunteer basis.
Hanauer also did a great job of pointing out that every civilized country and democratic society has high taxes and high government regulation and there is no country that resembles the supposed Libertarian utopia where no one pays any taxes and where there are no regulations, because those countries in reality are, as he put it, “a hellhole.”
The only thing that could have made me happier about this interview (other than Cavuto not interrupting Hanauer and talking over him) would have been Hanauer asking Cavuto if he'd prefer to live in one of those Libertarian paradises like Somalia.
A Quick Guide to Mitt's 10 Most Destructive Guiding Principles
By Robert Reich
Despite its contradictions and ellipses, Romneyism has an internal coherence.
November 4, 2012
By now, in these last remaining days before the election of 2012, we have learned enough about the beliefs of the Republican presidential candidate to see them as a worldview all its own – a kind of creed that explains Mitt Romney. Those who say he has no principles are selling him short.
Despite its contradictions and ellipses, Romneyism has an internal coherence. It is different from conservatism, because it does not intend to conserve or protect any particular institutions or values. It is also distinct from Republicanism, in that it is not rooted in traditional small-town American values, nationalism, or states’ rights.
The ten guiding principles of Romneyism are:
1. Corporations are the basic units of society. Corporations are people, and the overriding purpose of an economy is to maximize corporate profits. When profits are maximized, the economy grows fastest. This growth benefits everyone in the form greater output, better products and services, and higher share prices.
2. Workers are a means to the goal of maximizing corporate profits. If workers do not contribute to that goal, they should be fired. If they cannot then find other work that helps maximize profits in another company, their wages must be too high, and they must therefore accept steadily lower wages until they find a job.
3. All factors of production – capital, physical plant and equipment, workers – are fungible and should be treated the same. Any that fail to deliver high competitive returns should be replaced or discarded. This keeps an economy efficient. Fairness is and should be irrelevant.
4. Pollution, unsafe products, unsafe working conditions, financial fraud, and other negative side effects of the pursuit of profits are the price society pays for profit-driven growth. They should not be used as excuses to constrain the pursuit of profits through regulation.
5. Individual worth depends on net worth — how much money one has made, and the value of the assets that money has been invested in. Any person with enough intelligence and ambition can make a fortune. Failure to do so is sign of moral and intellectual inferiority.
6. People who fail in the economy should not be coddled. They should not receive food stamps, Medicaid, or any other form of social subsidy. Coddling leads to a weaker society and a weaker economy.
7. Taxes are inherently bad because they constrain profit-making. It is the right and responsibility of individuals and corporations to exploit every tax loophole they (and their tax attorneys) can find in order to pay the lowest taxes possible.
8. Politics is a game whose only purpose is to win. Any means used to win the game is legitimate even if it involves lying and cheating, as long as it gains more supporters than it loses.
9. Democracy is dangerous because it is forever vulnerable to the votes of a majority intent on capturing the wealth of the successful minority, on whom the economy depends. The rich must therefore do whatever is necessary to prevent the majority from exercising its will, including spending large sums of money on lobbyists and political campaigns. The most virtuous among the rich will go a step further and run for president.
10. The three most important aspects of life are family, religion, and money. Patriotism is a matter of guarding our economy from unfair traders and undocumented immigrants, rather than joining together for the common good. We owe nothing to one another as citizens of the same society.
On Tuesday we’ll decide whether these should be the guiding principles of America.
Harry Reid Was Right About Romney's Taxes. Who Is Going To Apologize First?
Remember when all the Republicans got outraged and called Harry Reid a "dirty liar" for saying that Mitt Romney hasn't paid taxes. Guess what, you GOP pearl clutchers?
Harry Reid was right:
Bloomberg finally cracked the story...
Using a tax shelter called a CRUT (charitable remainder unitrust) that was held by the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Mitt Romney was able to pay zero taxes (legally) every single year from 1996 to 2009. Why did he stop in 2009? Because he would make public his 2010 tax return, that is why.
Say it with me now, you pathetic scum-sucking hypocrites: MITT ROMNEY PAID NO TAXES FOR (MORE THAN) TEN YEARS!!!!!
So I'm sure that Reince Priebus, in his ongoing effort to represent the GOP with integrity and class, will be the first to apologize to Harry Reid.
How many of us, those who make much less, could avail themselves of an arrangement like this?
This is another reason why he is the hypocrite, liar and fraud that he has been accused of.
Beyond the Dead End of American Electoral Politics: Rethinking the Crisis of Politics
By Henry A Giroux,
As Hurricane Sandy swept through the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, there was and is much concern in the mainstream press about how it will affect the upcoming presidential elections. The implication being that a natural disaster may undermine the electoral process and distort what for many is the most significant expression of democracy in American politics. Unfortunately, the problems facing the upcoming election speak less to the effects of a natural disaster than to a serious political crisis. The equation of the electoral process with the highest measure of democracy rests on two mistaken assumptions.
The first assumption is that these elections actually provide a real set of choices for the American public. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, the choice is between Mitt Romney who is the titular head of a Republican party that is now largely controlled by a range of extremists. This cast of rouges includes ultra-conservative advocates of market fundamentalism and extreme religious zealots along with a mix of right-wing billionaires - all of whom are intent on destroying any vestige of the welfare state while quashing gay rights, attacking women’s rights, and suppressing voter registration turnout. On the other hand, Barack Obama is a conservative centrist who has repeatedly compromised his liberal policies on domestic issues while legitimating a range of foreign and domestic policies that have shredded civil liberties, expanded the permanent warfare state and increased the domestic reach of the punitive surveillance state.
The second assumption that undermines the electoral process and the coming election as the highest expression of American democracy is that the process is now entirely controlled and corrupted by the power of big money. As Eliot Weinberger recently wrote in the London Review of Books, “Obama and Romney are each spending about a billion dollars to get elected—four times what Bush and Gore spent in 2000. When one adds the unregulated PACs and Congressional and gubernatorial races, the cost of this year’s election is around $6 billion."
Under such circumstances, politics dissolves into pathology as those who are able to dominate politics and policy-making do so largely because of their disproportionate control of the nation's income and wealth and the benefits they gain from the systemic reproduction of an iniquitous social order. In other words, electoral politics is rigged and any notion of politics that is willing to invest in such ritualistic pageantry adds to the current dysfunctional nature of American society while reinforcing a profound failure of political imagination.
Elections in the United States are now characterized by the politics of a moral coma and corrupted by the pathological lies used to justify the rule of big money. John Le Carre's charge against the Bush administration that “America has entered one of its periods of historical madness," echoing the last days of the Weimar Republic, is more relevant today than it was in when he made the statement in 2003. Matters of justice, truth, responsibility and freedom have been hijacked by a savage mode of capitalism that is as ruthless as it is criminal. Manufactured idiocy reins in the dominant media and has ceded its credibility to the eithos of celebrity culture and the entertainment state.
Fox News is the American version of Pravda and the liberal media appears delusional given its flight from any vestige of critical analysis. The issue is no longer how to work within the current electoral system, but how to dismantle it and construct a new political landscape and vision of democracy in which people can recognize themselves, a vision that connects with and speaks to the American public's desires, dreams and hopes. The American public needs a new conversation about democracy, equality and the redistribution of wealth and power. And we need to explore how such a discourse can offer the conditions for critical visions, modes of governance and policy making.
In this instance, the debate on electoral politics is only one part of a much-needed conversation of what a democracy looks like and what it takes to make it more than a commodity for sale to the highest bidder. Some would argue that criticizing the electoral process as symptomatic of a new version of authoritarianism is a flight from political participation. Actually, engaging the electoral process as if it were the gold standard of democracy is a flight from any substantive understanding of the reality and promise of a real democracy.
 Eliot Weinberger, “The Republic of Entertainment,” London Review of Books (October 29, 2012).
 John le Carre, “The United States of America Has Gone Mad," Common Dreams (January 15, 2003).
This is what we are now: A land the American Dream gone; a land of the corporations aligned with government creating the illusion we still have something to look forward to; a land of the control of dissent, like what happened to OWS, that will get you pepper-sprayed, beaten or jailed.
This is the road to fascism - and we are almost there.